There’s a good chance that by now you may have heard something about El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. However, there’s a good chance you haven’t yet had a chance to play it. Well, I have, and I’m going to tell you why you may want to put this game on your radar asap.
El Shaddai was born from the minds of men who helped to create Devil May Cry, Okami, Viewtiful Joe, Final Fantasy 8, Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. Needless to say, all of these influences are present in the game. This is one trippy, gorgeous, wild ride.
If more people understood just what the hell was going on in El Shaddai, it would likely be much more controversial. It’s based directly on the Old Testament’s “Book of Enoch” and features the devil himself speaking directly with the man via cell phone while dressed as a Japanese hipster.
But I digress. This game oozes cool, and that’s really what matters… nevermind the impending biblical flood. There’s so much about this game that is hard to explain, so here’s a good bit of gameplay to give you an idea of what it’s all about.
Yeah, this one is gonna win some visual awards.
But it’s not just about looks, the game also plays remarkably well.
You play as Enoch, the sexiest savior you’ve ever seen. Clad in blue jeans and celestial white armor, he must battle his way through hordes of fallen angels to prevent the end of the world.
It plays mostly like Devil May Cry. There’s lots of jumping, weapon swinging, projectile firing, blocking and counter attacking. You’ll do reasonably well if you’re determined to button mash your way to victory, but will find much more satisfaction in exploring the more intricate details of the combat system. Weapons will vary between levels, and can also be stolen from enemies and used against them. One interesting mechanic is the purifcation system. Being celestial and all, your weapons will lose their purity and turn weak and red over time. You will have to stop and purify them for maximum combat efficiency. This element of the combat adds just a bit more to the complexity. As demonstrated in the video above, there are a litany of combat options available in El Shaddai, and each enemy and weapon has it’s own strengths and weakness.
A game like this simply wouldn’t work with any old art style, and luckily, El Shaddai is one of the most uniquely inspired artistic creations I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. It’s the hardest part to explain. It’s as if Salvador Dali himself exploded within the confines of your gaming console.